Police have warned of a surge in crime in various parts of the country as the festive season draws nearer.
According to police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, with a few weeks left to December which is the festive month, there have been indicators that criminals have stepped up their activities in various parts of the country as they prepare for the festivities.
“Usually as the countdown to the festive month of December continues, police and sister agencies tend to remind the public on vigilance. Targeted attacks have started on mobile money dealers and agents, traders, business persons motor vehicle thefts and theft of cattle,” Enanga said.
He noted that since is a time of stocking items for sale during the festive season, criminals also take advantage to target members of the public, especially those with huge sums of money and property.
“We would like to ask the public to be vigilant for suspicious people and vehicles and to report any concerns to police only. Also don’t rely on police only but have security measures around you to help safeguard your property. For example, ensure cashless transactions, change your banking routines, use armed guards while transporting and collecting cash among others to keep money and your lives safe.”
Enanga said preventing acquisitive crimes like robberies, burglary and shop break-in remains the priority of the police and other sister security agencies.
In some of the incidents, Enanga said on November, 5 , a group of three thugs armed with two guns attacked two different homes keeping village savings in Magamaga town council and robbed total cash worth shs6.8 million before escaping in attacks that happened at around 7pm.
On November, 8, at around 2am, a group of men disguised as customers while dressed in jackets and facemasks entered a Fortebet branch at Kabojja in Kyengera town council , drew an AK47 rifle and pistole to the cashiers and robbed shs3.6 million.
The police spokesperson however blamed the attack on the negligence of the betting company branch which he said didn’t have armed security guards but also its operators failed to detect the men who came with faces covered and had caps on their heads.
“The business had a local security guard with a stick and no CCTV cameras and were operating till very late. We are however tracking these thugs.”
The police spokesperson noted that in Arua City security guards of GKO Security Limited in the night of November, 8, 2023 broke into a microfinance office that they were guarding and robbed an unspecified amount of cash and a dell laptop before abandoning their two riffles and escaped to an unknown destination.
“We are strengthening our vigilance as security agencies ahead of an increase in business activity by identifying and carrying out raids on criminal hubs and increasing visibility. Our community liaison officers are working with communities to be extra careful and always have ears and eyes on the ground to report suspicious activity,” Enanga said.
He warned the public against complacency but noted the onus is on every member of the public to report any suspicious activity they see in their communities.